When it comes to the life stories of tech giants, Oracle’s co-founder, Larry Ellison’s life has an incredible story to tell. His different outlook towards success inspires many budding entrepreneurs who aspire to become just like him.
Despite having faced several setbacks and rejections in his life, the self-made man used his determination and grit to become the founder and former head of Oracle Corporation and one of the richest people in the world.
Today he owns 98% of a Hawaiian Island, Lanai, and has vast estates in San Francisco, Malibu, Nevada, and Japan. But that’s not the only quality he is famous for. He’s just as notable for being a philanthropist and an all-around entrepreneur, with several skills and achievements under his belt. In this infographic, we will find out how one of the most eccentric entrepreneurs built his empire despite facing difficulties and dropping out of college twice.
Turbulent Childhood and Education
- Lawrence Joseph Ellison, also known as Larry Ellison born on August 17, 1944.
- He initially went to the Eugene Field Elementary School, Chicago, and later Sullivan High School.
- In 1962, Larry joined the University of Illinois, Champaign, where he was named science student of the year.
- In 1966, Larry dropped out of college during his second year, when his adoptive mother died.
- After that setback, he enrolled at the University of Chicago but dropped out again to move from job to job.
“Life’s a journey about discovering limits.” – Larry Ellison.
- Larry picked up basic computer skills while working at different places, which he utilized at Amdahl, where he worked on a mainframe system.
- In the 1970s, he started a project with a computer company to write a relational database for the C.I.A.
- In 1977, Larry and two of his Amdahl colleagues, Robert Miner and Edward Oates, founded Software Development Labs.
- Soon, the talented trio had a contract to build a database management system—which they called Oracle—for the C.I.A.
- In 1981, I.B.M. signed on to use Oracle.
- In 1982, the company’s name was changed to the Oracle Corporation.
“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts.” – Larry Ellison.
The Oracle Era
- In 1986, Oracle Corporation held its I.P.O. (initial public offering), with an offering price of $15.
- In 1992, after a product-cycle refresh and a management shakeup, Oracle became a leader in the database-management realm.
- In 1997, Apple’s C.E.O., Steve Jobs, appointed Ellison to the board of directors, but he resigned in 2002, citing a busy schedule.
- In 2008, he was named the top-paid chief executive of America.
- In 2010, acquired Oracle’s competitor Sun Microsystems.
- Over the next few years, his company took over many other organizations, including PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems.
“Building Oracle is like doing math puzzles as a kid.” – Larry Ellison.
Ellison – the all-rounder entrepreneur
- In 2000, Larry founded a sailboat racing team, Oracle Team U.S.A.
- In 2013, the team won the 34th America’s Cup competition.
- In 2009, Ellison bought the Indian Wells Tennis Garden tennis facility near Palm Springs, California, and the Indian Wells Masters tournament.
- Larry is a licensed pilot who owns several military jets and aircraft, including an SIAI-Marchetti S.211 and Mikoyan MiG-29, a twin-engine jet fighter aircraft.
A well-known philanthropist
- In 2004 Ellison donated 1% of his wealth.
- Larry ranked 5th in the list of 400 wealthiest American Philanthropists.
- In 2006, he donated $115 million to Harvard University.
- In 2010, Ellison signed ‘The Giving Pledge’ – a charity commitment encouraging rich people globally to contribute a big chunk of their wealth to good causes.
“I think after a certain amount, I’m going to give almost everything I have to charity.” – Larry Ellison
Britannica.com, Forbes.com, Inc.com, Biography.com, Businessinsider.com, Ellisonfoundation.org